Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Will eternity seem like an eternity?

Today’s topic is eternity.

Because I understand our time is short, I promise I’ll try and keep it snappy.

I find myself wondering more and more about eternity and the idea of endless time.

It’s unfathomable.

The closest I come to relating is Mr. Wylie’s Econ 101 back at Ohio University. It was from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it seemed to take forever, especially the last 30 minutes when I was in a panic to get to the bars before anything fun happened without me. I remember staring at the clock, oblivious to old Wylie’s blahbedy-blahbedy-blahhing about Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand.

He didn’t care we had things to do. I remember how his reciprocal obliviousness always made me want to give him the Invisible Finger.

So that’s an example of when 30 slim minutes seemed like an eternity.

What will we do if eternity ever starts to seem like an eternity? 

I’m starting to think even in heaven I’ll get bored.

For our purposes, let’s stipulate in eternity we’ll still need to deal with some common units of time like days and years.

And, yes, let’s assume me, you and everyone else who reads my blog are bound for heaven. To assume otherwise would be depressing and would require the kind of substantive content changes that would ruin all the fun of producing and reading this blog.

I think what sent me down this eternal path was seeing a young adult book called, “Please Bury Me in the Library,” by J. Patrick Lewis. I find the title utterly charming.

I’ve always wished I had more time to read. In eternity, you’ll have all the time in the world to read.

Well, all the time in the afterworld.

But will I one day run out of good books? Remember, eternity is forever. The printed word’s only been around for about 2,500 years. That’s roughly the age of a 6-page book found in a Bulgarian tomb. It’s so ancient, scholars have been unable to translate a single word.

I have a hunch they’ll one day declare it’s a book of old Far Side cartoons.

But in heaven you could read every book ever produced — even all the really crappy ones — in the blink of an eternal eye. 

What would you do after you’ve run out of books?

I’d like to play golf in heaven, but would that ruin golf? The more you golf, the better you’re bound to get. What if, say, I played every single day. Certainly, I’d improve. Would excelling at golf ruin playing golf?

I think it might.

What else would you like to do for eternity?

You’d have to imagine even in heaven there’d be restrictions on some pastimes the Biblical honchos have long deemed sinful. Maybe you could get a pass and go to hell to enjoy those forbidden recreations, sort of like the way people on Earth do in Las Vegas.

But customs on the return trip would be a real bitch, for sure.

You know one thing I’d like to do in heaven that most people never dream of?

In heaven, I’d like to sleep. Really sleep.

For like 250 billion years.

Really, I think sleep is going to be a big part of managing eternity. 

Because all the other things you do — games, conversation, dining — will eventually grow tedious. Same goes for family togetherness.

My family and I will soon embark on a five-day jaunt full of fun activities. We’ll be rafting, hiking, zip lining, kayaking, etc. Coincidentally, we’ll be doing this in West Virginia, the state with the motto: “Almost Heaven.”

Guaranteed, as much fun as we’re bound to have together we’ll all be eager after just five days to get home and find ways to put a little distance between one another.

Sleeping again in our own beds will be, yes, heavenly.

I have to think in heaven hitting the snooze alarm will buy you another 10,000 years of shut-eye.

I’d like to know what you think about the concept of eternity.

You don’t have to come up with an answer right away.

Take your time.

Take it while time still seems something indescribably precious. 

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